| 12.9°C Dublin

Lenihan cowers from tough Budget calls


If the Finance Minister ever held a conference call with the Irish people, I would like to ask him why he has, to date, cowered away from making tough decisions when such tough decisions are so desperately needed.

So far, in our emergency, Fianna Fail has cut the pay of a portion of public workers, shrinking from cutting the pay of semi-state workers.

Welfare payments were cut, but not the state old age pension or occupational state pensions.

The pathetic excuses for not introducing a property tax and water charges are, hopefully, only likely to fool the die-hard, core Fianna Fail vote.

We are told that plans for water metering and the valuation process for taxing property are being "finalised".

Does anyone doubt that these 'plans' won't be "finalised" until after the next election, leaving a new government to do the painful but correct thing?

The upcoming general election is not only the most important in our history, but it is the last chance for representative democracy to show up and demonstrate why the law of the jungle is not preferable to the rule of law.

And the law of the jungle, to be very clear, is what has devastated this country.

I am sick of it and demand an election so that we can begin the process of growing up.

Declan Doyle

The Government is telling us that nothing will be off the table in the forthcoming Budget.

We know that the meagre income of the poorest people in society is going to be targeted.

I would like to know if the huge salaries and pensions of politicians, bankers and senior civil servants are going to be put on the table along with the incomes of ex-property developers and other wealthy people who may have stashed their money in off-shore tax havens.

And the family members of developers who have recently been given the assets that belonged to their husbands.

Will the Government and its supporters leave off the table fear tactics to manufacture consent for their regressive policies, something they have used on numerous occasions?

I doubt it.

Brian Abbott
Co Cork

Irish Independent